A great family bonding activity, is for each family member (or pairs) to make a board game. I taught school for over 30 years and had my students, (grades: 2, 3, 4, and 9) make their own board games, complete with cards.
The board games can be made using plain file folders, markers, colored pencils, pens, magazine pictures, etc. Buttons or beans can be used for the player's "marker".
Old dice/math cubes can be used to roll, to see how many spaces the player can move if they answer the question on the playing card correctly.
The individual or team must come up with a Title/Theme, such as "Find the Buried Treasure", "Don't Go Over the Cliff", "Shop 'til You Drop", etc. Do all work using a regular pencil. Later markers, colored pencils, etc. can be used to spiff up the game. Open the file folder, and use a pencil to draw the "trail(s)" dividing the "trail(s)" into sections/spaces. In some of the "spaces", phrases such as "Miss a Turn", "Go Back to Start", "Go Ahead 2 Spaces" etc. can be written. Make sure you have a place labeled "Start", and an "End"point on your board game.
Next, use plain paper, another file folder, recycled paper, etc. to make the "Playing Cards". Decide ahead of time what will be written on the playing card, such as: Riddles, Trivia Questions, Math Facts, States/Capitals, etc. Fold and cut the paper or folder into rectangles or squares, and write what you decide on each card. Note: Make sure you know the answer to what you write on the card.
On the front of the folded file folder print the Game's Title and the directions, such as the following: "Each player selects a playing piece. Whoever rolls the highest number on the die, starts first. That person rolls again, picks the top card, reads what is written and answers accordingly. If he/she answers correctly, he can move his playing piece the number of spaces according to what is rolled with his die. Take turns moving clockwise around the table. The person who gets to the "End" first is the winner".
Complete the game by embellishing the board game with graphics, designs, ribbon, pipe cleaners, etc. Store the cards, dice, and players' pieces in baggies. Attach the baggie with a clothespin or paperclip to the folder "Board Game".
This is a great project that may take more than 2 sessions to complete. When all the board games are finished, the family will have a nice variety of games to play, on rainy days, family night, special times, "No TV Night", etc.
Possibilities are endless! Enjoy! :-)
By Nancy from Jacksonville, FL
When I was teaching I had my math class make our own version of a Monopoly game. We labeled the space with things Like "principal's office", "library", front door", "Ms so and so's classroom". We measured the board squares learning how to use rulers, and practiced counting money with the "monopoly money "I printed on neon copy paper. We spent many happy Fridays playing our version of "County School Monopoly"
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